What to Serve With Pinto Beans

Wondering what to serve with pinto beans? Perhaps you have a surplus of pinto beans in the pantry, but you’re unsure what to serve with them. We’ve got the answers you’re looking for with 10+ excellent options.

Related: Substitutes For Pinto Beans

Side Dishes for Pinto Beans

Since pinto beans are protein, they can be used as a main course or a side dish. Regardless, knowing what to serve with pinto beans will help complete your special meal.

1. Rice 

Rice is by far the most popular accompaniment to pinto beans. You can make Mexican-style rice, an Italian rice pilaf, or risotto. You may even combine the two to make Caribbean beans and rice.

Spoonful of steaming hot sticky white rice

The earthy, nutty flavor of the beans pairs well with fluffy white and brown rice. And the dish is packed with fiber and other nutrients. In fact, this is a great protein-rich meal for vegans.

2. Tortillas

In Latin America, tortillas seem to be the second most popular side dish with pinto beans. And cheese is frequently added to the tortillas together with the beans. 

This pinto bean and tortilla combination is often served with salsa, avocado, or fajita veggies.

Cooked tortillas on a chopping board next to cherry tomatoes on the vine

3. Guacamole and Chips

woman preparing guacamole in a bowl

Guacamole is another popular option when exploring what to serve with pinto beans. The creamy avocado pairs perfectly with the earthy beans. And the fresh tomatoes, onions, and cilantro round out the flavors. 

The best way to enjoy this flavor combination is to make homemade guacamole. Simply mash ripe avocados with a fork and stir in diced tomatoes, red onions, fresh cilantro, lime juice, and salt to taste. Serve the guacamole and pinto beans alongside nachos or tacos for a deliciously easy meal.

4. Jalapeno Cornbread

Jalapeno cornbread adds a nice touch of spice that goes great with the beans. The slight sweetness of the cornbread is an excellent counter to the savory beans. And the soft and fluffy cornbread also provides the perfect contrast in texture to the beans. 

It’s super easy to make your own jalapeno cornbread. You need cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, pepper, eggs, milk, butter, cheese, and chopped jalapenos. Combine these and bake for 25 minutes, and your pinto bean meal is complete.

5. Beer Bread

If you’re curious about what to serve with pinto beans, it’s time to try traditional beer bread. This hearty bread is the perfect complement to a bowl of pinto beans. Best of all, beer bread is easy to make.

The subtle flavor of the beer pairs well with the earthy taste of the beans. And the crusty texture of the bread provides a nice contrast to the creamy texture of the beans. Combining these two will make your taste buds sing.

6. Smoked Turkey Thighs

Turkey isn’t only for Thanksgiving. Smoked turkey thighs will make your pinto beans taste even better. Those smoked turkey thighs are incredibly moist and soft, making them an excellent accompaniment to your beloved freshly made pinto beans.

Honey, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne, and allspice are used to season the turkey before roasting. Add some rice and vegetables to complete your meal.

7. Dr. Pepper Glazed Ham

Are you still stumped on what to serve with pinto beans? Why not take the adventurous approach and add Dr. Pepper glazed ham to your meal?

The sweet and smoky flavors of the glaze compliment the earthy taste of the beans. While the ham provides a nice contrast in texture to the beans, making for a more interesting dish. This is a combination your friends and family are sure to remember.

8. Meatloaf

Who doesn’t enjoy meatloaf, particularly when prepared the Southern way? It’ll be a hit at any dinner when served with pinto beans for a satisfying meal.

The hearty flavor of the meatloaf pairs well with the creamy texture of the beans. The sweet and savory combination of ground beef, onions, green peppers, garlic, ketchup, and mustard will go down a treat. Add a dash of Worcestershire sauce for some extra umami flavor.

9.  Mashed Potatoes

You simply can go wrong with mashed potatoes when deciding what to serve with pinto beans. The creamy, starchy potatoes provide the perfect counterbalance to the savory, protein-rich beans.

Yukon gold potatoes are ideal for the creamiest mash potatoes. And for an extra touch of flavor, stir in some shredded cheese just before serving your mash and beans.

10. Apple Carrot Coleslaw

Apple carrot coleslaw is a healthy and light option when exploring what to serve with pinto beans. The sweetness of the apples pairs perfectly with the savory flavor of the beans. And the coleslaw adds a crunchy texture that contrasts nicely with the creamy beans. 

This delightful summer side combines fresh cabbage, carrots, apple, parsley, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and tangy mayonnaise.


Pinto beans are such a tasty and nutritious meal ingredient. They provide an ideal protein component when combined with other ingredients or served with a side. 

When determining what to serve with pinto beans, consider adding one of the 10 fantastic sides mentioned above. Any one of these will compliment your main dish well and ensure that your pinto beans remain the hero of the meal.